Can Organic Food Be Kept Fresh for a Month Without Preservatives?

posted: 07/01/15
by: Danny Clemens
Salmon filet

More than 222 million tonnes of food are wasted each year in the developed world -- a harrowing figure, considering that the sun-Saharan Africa only produces 230 million tonnes of food annually, according to the United Nations.

A new food preservation method developed by Scandinavian research institution SINTEF aims to take a bite out of the growing problem of food waste. Known as superchilling, the technology has kept organic salmon fresh for a month without the use of chemicals or preservatives.

Superchilling salmon involves cooling the meat to approximately -2.5 degrees Celsius (27.5 degrees Fahrenheit), just below the temperature at which the meat would normally begin to freeze. As SINTEF explains: "At -2.5 degrees below zero, the fish is not completely frozen. It thus retains its quality of freshness, and will not be perceived or experienced as a thawed frozen foodstuff."

In addition to cutting down on food waste, the method also results in fewer CO2 emissions: traditional frozen food is shipped in boxes containing 30% ice -- with superchilling, there is enough ice in the fish itself to keep it fresh. Thus, less fuel is required to transport the lighter payload.

"The initiative is very positive," says project manager Michael Bantle. "We already know that superchilling is an efficient method, and if we can demonstrate that if it can increase the shelf-life of organic produced foods as well as it does for conventional foodstuffs, we believe that there will be a market for superchilled products.

Click here for more information from SINTEF

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